I’m doing this ten day challenge to up my productivity and help me get a handle on my life a little better. I figure that winter break is a good time to do it because I don’t have a lot going on, so it’ll be easier for me to follow through with this right now. Here’s a link to the challenge, which is fabulous, and I highly recommend it. I’m on day 4.
One of the interesting things is it tells you to take the weekend of the challenge as a “vacation” away from social media. I don’t count Tumblr, because that’s not how I use it. In any case, I’ve spent the day off Facebook, which is my biggest time-sucker. I’ve done this before, but it’s weird doing this while I’m home for Christmas, because I keep wanting to share what I’m doing and how wonderful home is.
This brought me to an epiphany. Facebook kills my writing. Here’s why: after spending a rare and wonderful home-cooked brunch with my family and basking in being home for Christmas, my impulse is to stick up a quick Facebook status about it.
What’s wrong with that? Well, I realized that there’s easily a poem in that moment, or an impression, or a blog post, or something that requires more creativity and thought and wordsmithing than a simple, “Brunch with the family. :)”
I keep wondering how it is that I’ve only written three poems over the course of the past semester, and I think I may have hit upon why, as well as my struggle to blog consistently. I’m spending all my magic sparks and creative moments on inane Facebook statuses that no one does more than glance at and pass over, maybe “liking” it or dashing down a quick comment. It doesn’t make anybody feel anything, except maybe the quickest of smiles. But I would bet there’s often not even that. And it doesn’t make me a better writer or force me to think or allow me to craft something beautiful.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this realization. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s absolutely not feasible for me to get rid of my Facebook, because that’s how I keep in touch with people. I have friends out of the state and out of the country, people organize events, and honestly, that’s even sometimes where homework questions get answered and quick chats happen. Of course, there are other ways to communicate, but I would miss important events and reaching out to my friends and family who are far away would be much more difficult. I’m far too much of a people person to allow that to happen.
But something’s got to change. It’s costing me as a writer. And, whatever else I may be and however that may change, I am and always will be a writer. It’s in the way I think, how I see, what I do, and who I am. So if I’m serious about being a better writer, this is something I have to take care of. I’ll keep you updated—and I think I’m going to start by taking every weekend off of Facebook. I’ve changed my settings so that direct messages and timeline posts go to my email, so I won’t miss any direct important communications. But other than that, cold turkey. So I’m trying.